I really enjoyed spending the day immersing myself in the world of Kids and Youths at Kids & Youth Event recently run by the MRS.
It was an enjoyable day spent with friends and colleagues and I have to say that having researched children, young people and families for over half of my 16 year career it was heartening to learn that nothing much has changed around the triumphs and pitfalls of conducting kids and youth research.
However technology has opened solutions and challenges, which were unimaginable 16 years ago. A greater number of kids and youths are accessing digital content at a younger age. The latest OFCOM figures show that c.69% of internet content is in the form of videos, so children are used to access this well before they even start to learn how to read and write!
The event started with a useful refresher from the MRS on the rules and best practice guidelines around ethically conducting research among under 16’s. Given the rise in Smartfones, Social Media and Video content – new and seasoned kids researchers are faced with new ethical challenges. Nevertheless, it’s important for kids researchers to maintain quality, integrity and take all precautions to protect the identity of the research subject (and those around them that could ‘accidently’ become part of the ‘research’).
We then delved deeper into the minds of kids and youths with tips on how to get the most out of them during qual and quant research. A presentation on truths and lies was particularly enlightening, especially in understanding when and why kids lie and how to detect this when researching them. It seems that kids may not always be honest in their feedback because they’ve been told ‘never to upset anyone’. Agreeing simple promises at the start of a research interview can effectively overcome this.
The session then moved into innovation and methodologies that deliver exceptional insights into young people’s minds and lives. Collaborative co-creative workshops with kids where ideas are built together sounded exciting. Equally exciting was learning about facial coding techniques – something Marketing Sciences Neuroscience experts know a lot about – or arming kids with wearable devices, such as the GoPro head cameras, and leaving them to give us an insight into their lives, behaviours and attitudes.
The afternoon then switched to understanding the fabric of Generation Z and gaining an insight into their attitudes towards brands, money, savings, debts and shopping. It seems the bright young minds of Generation Z are really savvy and caring and definitely risk adverse. A piece of research we did at Marketing Sciences on Savvy shoppers uncovered similar insights back in 2013.
All in all a great day with some useful recaps and future direction on getting the best out kids and youths in research.
Click here to find out more about the Kids Research we have done as a company.Subscribe